Chapter 5

In the wee hours of the morning Mr. Park knocked respectfully on the aging door to the orphanage.  His usual cool, calm demeanor had segued into worry, a fact noticed by Father Jin Sang when he answered the door.

A little while later a haggard looking Hyun Ae came into the common room, still in her wrinkled dress.  Mr. Park stood up and bowed.  “Miss Song.  I am sorry, but I need to take you back to the hotel room.”

Her first reaction was to rebel, but looking at the assistant she realized that he appeared to be slightly disheveled and more than a little stressed.  She realized that the cause was more than likely her flight in the early hours from the hotel. With a deflated sigh she allowed herself to be led to the car outside, her expensive heels in her hand, the dress a mess of wrinkles, and her hair resembling a crow’s nest.

An hour later she was showered, dressed, and eating breakfast at the hotel restaurant by herself.  Mr. Park left, though he requested that she not leave the hotel until he returned.  It rubbed her the wrong way, but she knew it wasn’t his fault.  It was yet another chain being placed around her neck by In Su.  However, she couldn’t be too angry as she was left to her own devices with a free pass to everything the hotel had to offer.  Which included a very exclusive spa.  All in all it wasn’t looking to be that bad of a day, as long as she truly was left alone.

***

The office was spacious with warm colors and various classically painted landscapes adorning the walls. Behind the old, well-loved desk sat Lee Dae Ho.  There was a stack of newspapers that had been delivered to him that morning. Every single one of them had an article in the business section about the charity event which In Su had attended last night.  The paper in his hand had the most in depth article of the bunch, ‘The Beast of Business Woos the Brainy Beauty.’  While he read, his assistant, Jung Soo Taik, entered the inviting space and quietly waited to be acknowledged.

Folding the paper and setting it aside Dae Ho sighed and rubbed his eyes, “this is the woman he’s tricked into marrying him?”

“We have not gotten confirmation of that yet, but we believe so. She works in the legal department.” Mr. Jung quietly answered.

Leaning back in the chair, the older man looked out the large bay window, “Have you spoken with the employees to discover the truth about this relationship?

“Yes.  She literally fell into his lap at the beginning of the week.  I believe that after a quick investigation he decided that she was a valid candidate to meet the conditions the Elders implemented”  Reaching over he took the paper from the stack and opened it to the picture of In Su and Hyun Ae entering the charity event.

“Her lack of social status, mysterious past, and employment by the company will work against his schemes.”  Dae Ho mused. Standing slowly, his body stiff and aching, “Why did he not pick from the women I provided?  They would have provided a financial boon to the company and added to his stature within the business world.”

“Lee Dae Young and Lee In Young arrived in Korea three weeks ago.  We’ve been watching them since their arrival.  In Young was at the event as well.  Your brother knows of In Su’s engagement.”  The information was provided in a gentle manner.

Hanging his head he felt as if he were carrying a great weight.  “Arrange for a visit to Royal Lee Exports on Monday.  Since In Su will not bring her here, I will meet her on my own.”

Bowing, Mr. Jung exited the room leaving Dae Ho to his thoughts. Standing at the window he clasped his hands behind his back and looked out over the gardens of the Lee estate.

“He is inviting trouble by straying below his level.  Dae Young will seize this opportunity and In Young is ruthless enough for anything.”  He sighed over the antics of his son.  In Su had always wanted to be in control over everything, and by unwisely choosing his own bride may have borne the seeds of his own destruction.

***

Two hours outside Seoul, the cool morning air felt good in his lungs.  After In Su instructed Mr. Park to care for Hyun Ae, he felt the need to go to his favorite place and align his thoughts.  The introduction of his fiancée was an unqualified success, but for some reason, he still felt vaguely discontented. He had thought she would be a little happier associating herself with one of the most powerful families in Seoul.  Instead she had all but drunk herself into a coma.  Still, the congratulatory emails and messages had already starting arriving at the office.  Now he needed to think about his next move to solidify his position.

He breathed a sigh as the large stone gates of his haven finally came into view. There was only once place that he felt completely free of the restraints of his life, and that was at the LeeEquestrianCenter.  His great grandfather had founded the center focusing on racing stock, but In Su had expanded it and made it flourish. The Lees were well known for their efforts at saving the Jeju pony from extinction and introducing the Chinese Heihe horse outside the mainland area.  In Su wanted to make his own mark, and it was here that he raised and bred American Quarter Horses, specifically the racing and competition bloodlines. It was a relative newcomer to the Asian market, but thanks to the increasing popularity of this short but powerful breed, the LeeCenter had become the premier AQH farm in South Korea.

He drove past the expansive barns and large paddocks of the commercial complex, but it didn’t take long for him to arrive at the smaller family stable . After parking his vehicle in the gravel lot, he limped to the main doors.  Since he had called ahead, his heart’s joy was already waiting for him.

She was a palomino mare standing 16 hands high, and her racing pedigree was of the highest quality.  At the sight of In Su she whinnied and stamped her foot into the dirt, tugging at the reins held firmly by a handler.  Smiling he approached as the last buckle of his specialty saddle was tightened.  The groom took his crutches from him and helped him up onto the mounting block.  Mireuk’s Magnolia, who he affectionately called Maggie, tossed her head happily.

“She’s already had her morning oats and a rubdown, sir, and her physical is clean.” In Su nodded to his man as he settled down in the saddle and allowed the groom to set the stirrups.

Running his strong hand along her neck In Su easily quieted the proud mare.  He had raised her from a foal, and Maggie was the only female in his life that he cared for at all.  Once they were clear of the buildings, he clucked and gave Maggie her head. A few moments later found the pair pounding through a copse of trees.  The cool breeze invigorating against his face.  It had been ages since they had run together, and he felt his concerns slip away as they pounded along the trail.  The mare put on a burst of speed until they seem to be flying through the vast pasturelands.

When they were both winded he guided her back onto one of the paths.  Once at the stables, he insisted on rubbing her down himself. Brushing her neck with strong, swift strokes, In Su sighed.  “I have taken the first steps towards solidifying my claim as President of the company Maggie.  By now my father has seen the papers and my uncle should be aware of the impending nuptials as well.” Maggie sighed as well and playfully bumped the brush in his hand. He gave her an affectionate head bump before returning to his ministrations.

The effort it took him to stand and care for Maggie was always worth it, and In Su felt refreshed and centered despite the pain of standing for so long.  Maggie’s handler returned and took the proud horse back to her personal stable while another employee brought back his crutches.  With trembling legs and gritted teeth he made his way back to the flashy car, physically exhausted but mentally prepared to deal with the woman who had begun to unsettle his organized life.

***

“Father, this is Investigator Moon Jong Suk.”  In Young showed the private investigator into the pleasantly appointed room. Dressed more for golf than business, Chairman Dae Young sat behind a simple desk and gestured the other men to a pair of brown leather armchairs.

Dae Young smiled, “Thank you for all your hard work.”  The investigator bowed his head politely.  “What can you tell us about the young woman?”

Setting a manilla envelope on the desk Jong Suk settled into the chair before speaking. Once he was comfortable, he began outlining what he found.   “She was abandoned near the Church of the Holy Family orphanage.  Because of her age, Father Ko Jin Sang took her to the American Embassy, but without proof of citizenship they wouldn’t take her.  The girl remained at Holy Family  until she turned fourteen, when she was adopted by Sim Bong Cha and Na Kyu Bok.  Based on the rankings within the school system, she was rated number one or two for every possible college or civil service entrance exam.  After an interview with Sim Bong Cha, I determined that the girl’s intelligence was the deciding factor in the adoption.”

As Jong Suk detailed more information about that girl’s life up to this point, In Young was distracted by the familiarity of the orphanage, but it bothered him that he couldn’t pin down why.  Shuffling through the information in the folder, he came upon a list of other children who had lived at the orphanage during that girl’s time there.  Suddenly recognizing a name, all the pieces fell into place.  With a deep smile on his devilishly handsome face he sat back in silence while his father completed the interview with the investigator.

After Moon Jong Suk left, the pair retired to overstuffed chairs by the cold fireplace.  “You look pleased with yourself.”  Dae Young placed a tumbler of brandy beside his son before taking a seat as well.

“Are you still looking for a Head of Security?”  In Young smirked mischievously.

Raising a brow the older man chuckled, “I haven’t found an appropriate candidate yet.”  Sipping the brandy he regarded his son curiously.

Nodding In Young steepled his fingers, “With your permission, Father, I will take care of it.”  Dae Young nodded, trusting that his son had something in mind, but respecting him enough not to push.

***

Hyun Ae felt refreshed and relaxed after her day at the spa.  Somehow she knew that Mr. Park had picked the hotel, as her comfort would be the last thing on her fiance’s mind.  However, she was glad to have had the time to herself.  She was happily nestled in a plush chair with a book in hand lost to the story, when there was a soft knock on the door.  Sighing she set the book aside to go answer the door.

Mr. Park stood there smiling at her with his usual calm demeanor. He appeared to have recovered from her flight to the orphanage the night before. “Miss Song, I hope this afternoon finds you well.”

“It’s time to go?”  He nodded, and she set the book down and began putting together her meager belongings. Forty-five minutes later found her in the back of the sedan, traveling to an unknown destination.

She hadn’t asked where they were going and Mr. Park hadn’t offered any information.  A short time later, they pulled into an underground parking structure only a few blocks away from the famous hotel in which she’d spent her morning.  Perhaps she was supposed to attend a meeting?  Though it was Sunday, it was possible that the inhuman In Su worked no matter what day it was.  Before long she found herself, her small suitcase, and Mr. Park in an elevator.  Before pressing the numbers he swiped a key card and then chose the penthouse.  In a wave of understanding she realized where they were.

Time slowed to an infinite crawl before the elevator doors finally opened. The sight that greeted her eyes was exactly as she had assumed; no expense was spared with an obvious attempt to impress visitors.  To her eyes the decor in the small entranceway was gaudy and overdone, but it seemed to be In Su’s taste.  At least he was consistent.

Directly across from the elevator was a set of large double doors made from some dark wood and intricate stained glass panels of a geometric design. Using a discreet security pad, Mr. Park unlocked the doors, and ushered Hyun Ae inside. Stepping through she felt her breath catch in her throat.  A spacious hallway extended before her, a fantastic indoor garden filled with all manner of flowers, trees, and vines. Sunlight sparkled through crystal clear skylights. Mr. Park removed a small device and pointed it at the opaque glass on either side of them.  Almost miraculously, the glass to the left cleared to reveal a small study.

Her mouth slightly open like a child, Hyun Ae could only stare at her surroundings as she was gently led through the lush garden to the single door on the other side.  It appeared to be a library, but she only got a glimpse before she stood in front of another door.  Mr. Park handed her the key card, keyring, and control for the windows.

“President Lee took the liberty of acquiring a wardrobe for you utilizing your measurements from the dress fitting. Your quarters are through this door.  The code for the main door is…” he paused and smiled, “your birthday.”  Hyun Ae blinked in surprise, but could find no words to respond.  Why had In Su chosen her birthday out of all the possible numbers?  It was too much to think about right now and so she dismissed it.  Bowing he moved around her, “I’ll leave you to explore.  President Lee will arrive shortly to discuss your schedule for the upcoming week.” And with that, she was alone in this new and strange place.

Before walking into the space designated for her alone, she took a few moments just to breathe and take in the knowledge that this was her new home.  Hyun Ae sat down in one of the plush chairs.  This apartment could fit the orphanage inside of it at least twice over from what she could see so far, and she’d only seen two rooms.  Rubbing her face she forced herself to stand.

Standing on unsteady legs she made herself really look at the apartment.  The library was gorgeous, all dark woods and creams and soft green accents.  The walls were lined with shelves, which were not yet full.  A Rolling ladder offered access to the shelves near the ceiling.  Throughout the wide space there were clusters of chairs, a divan, and a red granite fireplace against the back wall.

Turning from the temptation of the books, she let a little squeal of happiness. At the opposite end of the space sat the loveliest baby grand piano she’d ever seen.  The ornate antique was decorated in muted shades of ivory, sage, and turquoise with several hand painted murals and delicate gilt work.  Hyun Ae was instantly in love.  She’d learned to play on a piano that was barely held together with love and determination.  She lifted the fallboard and stroked a single chord with one hand.  The pure notes rang through the library before fading away.  The gorgeous instrument was perfectly tuned.  Smiling she closed the fallboard, hiding the ivory keys.

Sighing she turned away from the magnificent piece and faced the door which would lead to her home.  Stepping through she entered a nearly empty foyer, containing a coat rack, umbrella stand, and a table along the wall under a wide mullioned window.  Unsteadily she walked through the space which would be her home for the forseeable future. Each room was sparsely decorated, just the bare minimum of furniture to make it mostly functional. She was thankful that the ostentatious and gaudy decor did not extend into her private rooms.  However, her gratitude disappeared by the time she was done looking around. Her “separate living space” it consisted of a foyer, a den / study, and a bedroom with a private balcony.  It was little more than the hotel room she had just vacated.

With a furrowed brow she walked determinedly back towards the library.  A glass door led to a huge balcony, but she ignored it when she spotted a door identical to hers. Stalking over she tried the handle, but stamped her feet in frustration when it wouldn’t open.  Through an open archway she saw a beautiful dining room and past that a bright kitchen with all of the newest appliances, but she was confronted by another locked door to the rear.

“Separate living arrangements? Really?  That… that… dirty… miserable, unlikable…”  Hyun Ae stuttered in her anger.

“I believe the word you are looking for is bastard.”  She paled as his dark voice slid down her spine like ice.  Spinning around she was confronted with his mocking face.

“Come we have much to discuss and settle before tomorrow,” he ordered.  Turning he lumbered back through the archway into the library.

Shocked that she hadn’t heard him arrive and fuming that he was treating her in such a despicable manner she froze for a moment.  The quiet, peaceful morning was shattered by his very presence.

“Hya!”  Storming after him, she stood in the archway as he settled down into one of the chairs by the fireplace. “How does this equal separate apartments?  The agreement stated…”

In su cut her off with an abrupt gesture. “The agreement stated that we would have separate quarters.  You are the one who assumed that meant separate apartments dear.”  The endearment was said with such derision that Hyun Ae felt it like a physical blow.  A small table in the corner held the latest model smart phone, he took a seat there and waited.  “The sooner you sit the sooner you may retire for the day.”

Sputtering she just stared at him.  “How is this fair?”

In Su gave a sharp laugh.  “I never said our agreement would be fair.  If you wish we can nullify the contract.  In a few days your family will be evicted and you will be blacklisted from every decent legal job in this country.  Allow me one call and it will be done.”  Retrieving his phone from the inner pocket of his suit jacket he began dialing.  He wondered if she would call his bluff.  Mr. Park had made him promise to never touch the orphanage, no matter the outcome of these final negotiations with the fascinating Ms. Song. His assistant was more than just an employee, and there was little In Su would deny him.  But she didn’t need to know that.

Before she realized it, Hyun Ae had crossed the room and pulled the phone from his hand.  Her gaze wilted in front of his steady stare, his hand still open. Blushing she returned the phone, doing her best to hide her chaotic emotions  “That. Won’t. Be necessary.”  She swallowed. “Sir.”

“You almost looked like a tigress there for a moment.” In Su murmured to himself. After tucking away his own phone, he motioned to the one on the table. “Your calendar has been updated.  Do not be late to anything.  You have a car and a driver at your disposal. On Monday we will announce your retirement from the legal department.  You will clean your desk and arrive in my office promptly before lunch.  From then on you will give the appearance of shadowing me as I educate you on running the company.”

She sank down in the opposing armchair. With her small hands curled into fists on her lap, she managed to choke out, “Give the appearance of?  You won’t actually teach me?”  Hyun Ae was so angry that she was short of breath.

He ignored her outburst as nothing. “Correct.  Why would I?  There is nowhere for you to lodge a complaint.  As long as you behave your precious orphanage will survive.  The moment you do not I will tear that place down and build a parking lot.”  He smiled, but his eyes remained glacial. “And let me remind you of the non-disclosure clause in contract. You may not talk to anyone about the provisions we have agreed on.”

Stiffly, she nodded, biting her lip to keep the tears from building in her eyes. “Bastard.”

Mesmerized by the sight of her teeth worrying her full lower lip, In Su mentally shook himself. “I have never denied that.”  Standing and hooking the crutches he moved toward the locked door.  “Our car leaves promptly at seven thirty, I will see you in the morning darling.”  With that he disappeared into his private apartment, resisting the urge to look at her a final time.

Hyun Ae was left to stare after him, crushed.  Woodenly, she stood up and shuffled to her quarters. Every hope she had of a positive outcome was gone, and all she could feel was emptiness and sorrow.  A few moments later she locked herself in her bare bedroom and threw herself on the ivory duvet covering the platform bed, crying her heartbreak into an uncaring pillow.

Unbeknownst to her In Su wasn’t in bed. In fact, he sat in his dark office and watched her from the hidden CCTVs he had installed in her half of the penthouse, until she disappeared into her bedroom.  Mr. Park had adamantly denounced the idea of a camera there.  After some arguing In Su gave in to his assistant, but he replaced the cameras with several listening devices instead.  When the door slammed he closed his eyes and leaned back, listening.

Rooted to his chair, In Su could almost feel her pain in the ragged weeping that filtered to his ears.  Somehow he couldn’t make himself turn off the sound or walk away, held down by an unknown force.  He felt an unfamiliar sensation a tightening in his chest.  Perhaps he should see his cardiologists; he had been putting off the most recent round of appointments.  The longer he listened the more his heart hurt, until the pain in his chest reached a truly unbearable level. Angrily, he flicked the speaker off and walked away, but later, alone in his bed, he was still awake, mulling over what these feelings meant for him and his place in the company.

***

There was a knock on the orphanage door, the brittle wood creaking under the strong impact.  Sister Claire opened the door, smiling.  “Good evening.”

The young man bowed low, his hand tucked against his abdomen.  “Hello.  I’m sorry to disturb you, but I was wondering if you might be able to help me.”

“Of course my child, what do you need?”

Looking a little nervous he scratched his head, “This might be a long shot, but I had to try.  I’m trying to find a friend who grew up in this place. I really wanted to try and find him again.”

“If he grew up here, then I would certainly know this person. Please come in, we’re having dinner, would you like to join us?”  From deeper in the aging complex  he could hear the clink of tableware and the sounds of children’s laughter.

Once more the young man bowed very low, “Thank you, yes please.”

Ushering him inside she patted his arm affectionately, “I’m Sister Claire, I care for the children here with Father Ko Jin Sang.”  They made their slow way towards the dining room.

The children were seated around a sagging table while Eun Mi did her best keep some form of order.  The young man saw an older priest  soothing a little girl who had suffered some injustice at the hands of her unnie.  The organized chaos grated on his ears, but he tried not to wince. Upon their arrival all eyes turned in their direction immediately.

Eun Mi’s widened at the newcomer, then she blushed in embarrassment of her unkempt state. Sticky fingers had left a streak of sauce on her cheek, and tendrils of hair had slipped out of her haphazard ponytail. She must look a fright compared to the debonair young man.

When some semblance of order was reached, and the children were relatively quiet, Sister Claire nodded to the young man beside her. “Now let’s all welcome our guest, and be on our best behavior.  This is…” she turned to him and laughed, “I am sorry, I did not get your name.”

Bowing to the assembled family he smiled, “I’m Lee In Young.”

In unison, under Sister Claire’s stern gaze the children bowed and said, “Hello.”  Eun Mi did the same, though she felt clumsy and awkward.  In Young returned the bow.

“Please sit down.  We don’t have much but we are always glad to share it with new found friends.”  There was a shuffle as the children adjusted to give him space.  “What brings you here?”

Sister Claire moved to help Eun Mi with serving the food and setting out the side dishes.  The older woman did not miss the way Eun Mi gazed at the good looking guest.  Keeping her smile hidden she quietly ushered the younger woman to the kitchen to straighten  herself up while Sister Claire continued serving dinner. Shortly after, Eun Mi came back out, face freshly scrubbed and hair now in a slightly messy bun, carrying a tray with clean tableware and fresh rice.

Absently accepting the bowl of rice from Eun Mi, he snapped to attention when their fingers touched.  Their eyes met and he really looked at her for the first time.  Beneath the messy hair and practical clothing she really was very pretty, almost beautiful.  Unbidden, Eun Mi felt her face flush as he looked at her.  Hurriedly turning away she tried not to pay attention to the sudden fluttering in her heart. In Young shook his head a little he returned his attention to Father Jin Sang.  “I’m searching for a good friend of mine and I was hoping that you knew where he was.  His name is Kang Myung Ki.”

“He’s our Oppa!” the little girl in Father Jin Sang’s arms giggled and hid once more against the elderly man’s chest.

Laughing the Father nodded, “Indeed, we know who he is.  Our Myung Ki-ah was only recently returned to us.  How do you know him?”

Smiling openly, In Young began his story. “We served in the military together.  Both of us signed up immediately as soon as we were of age, and were some of the youngest recruits.  We were inseparable during those two years.  But afterwards with his job and the demands of my family we lost touch.  I just returned to Korea and knew this was where he’d grown up. The last thing I had heard from him, he was working internationally as a bodyguard.  He’s really here?  In Korea?”

Sister Claire squeezed In Young’s shoulder, “He is indeed. It was God’s will that you both returned within days of each other.  He is staying here to help take care of the little ones, and we are expecting him any moment.”

In spite of his mission, In Young was happy to know his friend was back. “This is more than I had hoped for.” he sincerely replied.

After the children had finished and left to get ready for bed, the adults relaxed at the table and chatted.  Father and Sister talked about Myung Ki growing up and, together with Eun Mi, listened as In Young spun tales of the troubles he and Myung Ki had gotten into.  Eun Mi recognized his name, since Myung Ki had talked about him in his letters.  Somehow she had expected someone more like their brother and less like a male model who had walked out of a magazine.  The massive, gruff Marine and the tall and almost slender man seemed mismatched. But then, weren’t she and Hyun Ae polar opposites as well? She sighed, wondering how her friend was doing tonight, in her new and strange home.

Eun Mi was inspecting hands and teeth when Myung Ki finally came home. The children rushed outside and exploded into giddy laughter as they swarmed around him, teasing him that they had a surprise for him. Playfully he tumbled through the house as if the children could actually move him. Landing on the floor with a raucous laugh he was met by a strange sight.  Sister Claire and Father Jin Sang were seated on the worn couch just like any normal night. Eun Mi was standing by the bedroom hallway. However, standing next her was a welcome addition to their group that made him break out in a huge grin.

“In Young-ah!” Bouncing up from his prone position, he extricated himself from the giggling pile to reach out and clasp hands with his friend. The two men laughed and hugged one another fiercely.

There was a burst of chaos as the children joined in and Eun Mi did her best to calm them.  It took some time to get the children quieted down and in bed. In that time the two men excused themselves and headed out into the cooling night to catch up.

They walked side by side down the quiet lanes surrounding the orphanage.  When they had circled the block a few times, exchanging stories of their lives in the three years they’d been separated, they ended up near the front of the church.  On the other side of the stone wall, the orphanage was dark, its occupants settled for the night.  Leaning against the stone wall, In Young punched Myung Ki’s shoulder.  “So, have you given up the life of private security already, hyung?”

Chuckling he shrugged and looked at his friend, “I missed home too much.” Myung Ki turned and looked moodily over the wall, “and the family.”

In Young nodded and kicked at a stone, “Is it everything you thought it’d be?”  They had spent many long nights commiserating about their lives back home. He knew why his friend had come back. It was that girl, the same girl who caused a problem with his own plans.

Pushing away from the wall Myung Ki moved a few steps away and breathed deeply, stuffing his hands into his pockets, “Things never really turns out how we want, huh?” Clearing his throat he pulled his eyes away from the old building, “She still sees me as her little brother. Not only that, she’s engaged to a man that doesn’t deserve her, a bastard that just makes her cry.” Myung Ki took another deep breath and tried to relax his hands, which had formed into fists.

Keeping his face averted In Young did his best to keep his expression sympathetic. It was difficult because the situation was better than he thought. His military buddy was blindly in love with the troublesome wench and already disliked In Su. All he needed to do was provide a well-timed lie here or there. Walking over to his tall friend he companionably patted his back, “I’m sorry hyung, that’s terrible. What are you going to do?”

The big man shrugged. “I have no idea. He has to have something on her, because she’s obeying his every word without a fuss. Which isn’t like her. She’s ornery and opinionated, and I’ve never seen her do anything she didn’t want to do without clashing. But so far she hasn’t fought, not one damned time. I know there’s no way she loves him because she’s in constant pain because of him.” Myung Ki again tried to quell the rage within him that welled every time he thought of Hyun Ae’s defeated eyes. He ran his hands through his short hair in frustration.

Tossing his arm up and over the bigger man’s shoulders, In Young did his best to comfort his friend.  “All you can do is be there for her, and hopefully she’ll open up,  tell you what hold that man has over her. Once she does, let me know if there is anything I can do to help the situation.”

Myung Ki looked at his friend, his eyes red with unshed tears, “Thank you, dongsaeng.”  Hugging him for a moment he released In Young and made an effort to lighten the conversation.  “So how about you? How does it feel to be back in Korea?”

“I’m glad to be home. I missed the food and my car.” They laughed, the cheerful mood restored, and together took a seat on the wall once more.  “Have you found permanent work yet?” Myung Ki shook his head, and his friend continued.  “If you’re interested, my father is looking to fill the Head Security Officer position.   I immediately thought of you, but didn’t know if you were back in Korea. So I showed up here on a whim.”

Myung Ki looked thoughtful, and In Young could tell he was tempted. “I was responsible for the well-being of a diplomat or VIP, so I mostly worked alone or with a driver.”

“But you were Team Leader in the Military. This job pays better and you wear better threads. And I get to be your boss this time, hyung.” The two shook hands at the gate and promised to meet the next day.

A little while later Myung Ki was back inside describing the new job he’d been offered, while In Young drove away with a malicious smile twisting his handsome face.  Things were going to plan; all he needed to do was set the trap for his cousin.

11 Responses to Chapter 5

  1. Pingback: Heart Murmurs: Chapter 5 | The Drama Noona

  2. Oh No. Myun Ki… but that aside, In Young is definitely going to make the story more interesting. I’m seeing more of In Su, and his dad is definitely going to be a barrier. The story is falling into a great pace. The only that I have is that In Su and Hyun Ae’s relationship seems to be at a bit of a stand still, he’s getting closer and close to realizing his attraction but she’s shying away farther and farther. Will we see how the close quarters will affect them both. I love the softer side to In Su though, especially him with his horse!

    • Thank you! I hope In Young doesn’t disappoint. He’s definitely going to spice things up. I am trying to give more insight into In Su’s thoughts, since for most of the prior chapters it has been more focused on Hyun Ae’s inner dialogue.

      With the next few chapters I hope to show them both shifting in their thoughts of one another. The close quarters is going to shake it up for sure. Thank you! In Su needed a softer side, he’s shown how much of a meanie he can be so far. But he’s really not as nasty as he tries to be. That’s what I was trying to show with Maggie.

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying the story so far!

  3. Toratatsu says:

    Oh.my.life!!! I am enjoying this drama IMMENSELY! You’ve got the drama tropes down to a ‘T’…it could SO be made into a real-life drama. Love the cast – although not so sure about Hyun Ae – must be the foreigner thing (sorry, I’m biased). Otherwise, I read everything in one sitting – can’t WAIT for the next installment! Hwaiting!!!!

    • Thank you so-so much for stopping by and taking time to read this drama! Heh thanks, I’ve got some great help from Shukmeister in making sure that the tropes are true to the K-Drama world. No worries! Not everyone likes the foreigner aspect of it, but that’s ok 🙂 I added it in with a purpose and hopefully the payoff for that helps with her not being Korean. But I’m terribly slow at getting the chapters completed so it will be a bit before the drama is concluded.

      You’ve just made my whole entire week! In one sitting? Omo! I’m so extremely happy that you liked it enough to read it so quickly! Thank you for the encouragement! I’m working on Chapter 6 as quickly as I can! Hwaiting!!!

      • Byeol Shin-Ang says:

        I’m on tenterhooks, waiting for chapter 6! This is the problem with reading too fast – I’m left twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next instalment! It’s like marathoning a drama…
        Anywho, despite not being very sure about it, I can’t wait to see how the aspect of Hyun Ae being a non-Korean pans out – it’s exciting because it’s something different.
        Also, really looking forward to the interactions between the two leads. Are you going to follow the kdrama format exactly? If there’s one thing that that really frustrates me with the majority of kdramas I’ve watched so far is that the love of the lead couple is hardly ever showcased. So much time is spent bickering and insulting one another. Then, once they confess their love, something tragic happens to threaten it, then the dreaded noble idiocy kicks in. Where are the tender moments? the dates? the sweet whispers of love? The playfulness? The SKINSHIP? Or maybe I have’t watched enough of them? *sigh*
        But don’t mind me – I’m rambling! Sorry! Keep up the good work! Aja, aja!✊

      • Please accept my sincerest apologies for taking so long to reply. I’m currently dealing with an injury which makes it difficult to sit at the computer for long periods of time. I am truly appreciative of your time and the fact you’ve commented here! Thank you for your patience!

        Which is also a big factor in my not being able to finish chapter 6. I only have a paragraph left, or there about and then final editing. I really do hope to have it up by the end of the week.

        Most of my readers feel the same about Hyun Ae’s being Caucasian. Because I’m only in chapter 6 I suppose I still have time to change that heh, but I do hope that it turns out to be something people enjoy. But with the feedback I’ve received I’m on the fence if she’ll remain a foreigner or not.

        Chapter 6 & 7 will be primarily Hyun Ae and In Su, because I have the same frustration with most dramas. The supporting cast will appear and have their own stories, but won’t take over the spotlight. At least that’s my hope. Also their interactions will contain bickering and there will be the misunderstandings since this is a trope story, however, they will also have sweet moments together in which they act like a real couple.

        Keke thank you! I hope that you’ll enjoy the next chapter when I get it completed!

  4. Lady G. says:

    I LOVE your choice for In Su’s ruthless uncle. He’s one of my absolute favorite “Ahjussis.” I’m worried about what he and his son are up to. And what he found out about the orphanage. Hmmmm…

    The farm / horseback scene was beautiful, I felt there, seeing that majestic horse, and watching In Su’s face warm up and smile as he took pleasure in caring for her. That was sweet. Her new home sounds majestic, but too bad on the separate living arrangements. I love this line – “She paled as his dark voice slid down her spine like ice.”
    I could definitely ‘hear’ his voice there! Love it!

    Why do I get a feeling that Mr. Park is the big cheese and In Su is a lackey?? Or are they family? Hmmm…I love these little mysterious hints.

    I had to laugh at the heartache In Su felt when she cried. Instead of recognizing it as emotions/empathy, he thinks he should visit the Cardiologist!

    Well there’s a twist! Eun Mi and In Young…maybe this will wake Monkey up to reality. lol. But I feel bad his good friend is going to trick him somehow. :/

    This story really keeps me riveted for what’s next.

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